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Depress Res Treat. 2011;2011:470985. doi: 10.1155/2011/470985. Epub 2011 Nov 3.

Predictors of time to relapse/recurrence after electroconvulsive therapy in patients with major depressive disorder: a population-based cohort study.

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1
Department of Psychiatry, Örebro County Council, Örebro University Hospital, 701 85 Örebro, Sweden.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of the study is to define predictors of relapse/recurrence after electroconvulsive therapy, ECT, for patients with major depressive disorder.

METHODS:

A study of all patients (n = 486) treated by means of ECT for major depressive disorder was performed. The data were derived from a regional quality register in Sweden. Psychiatric hospitalisation or suicide was used as a marker for relapse/recurrence.

RESULTS:

The relapse/recurrence rate within one year after ECT was 34%. Factors associated with increased risk of relapse/recurrence included comorbid substance dependence and treatment with benzodiazepines or antipsychotics during the follow-up period.

CONCLUSIONS:

Within the first years after ECT, relapses/recurrences leading to hospitalisation or suicide are common. Treatment with lithium might be beneficial, while benzodiazepines, antipsychotics, or continuation ECT does not seem to significantly reduce the risk of relapse/recurrence.

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